The power of corporations
We need to understand power, and specifically the power exercised by the agents of neoliberalism, the corporations. And it really isn't that hard. Simple dialectics: Power needs something outside itself in order to function. For example, a psychopath who tortures his victims must assume their independent ability to suffer in order to exercise his power. ...
A Thought On Virtual Labor and the Marketplace
The point of civilization has always been concentration. The onset of what we call civilization is the emergence of the first cities, places like Katal Huyuk. This was possible - and became necessary - because agriculture technology had advanced so far that there was more food than farmers' mouths. The organization of this abundance produced ...
Power (sketch)
Power (sketch) A neutral observer looks at human interaction between A and B. In order to understand this interaction, the decisions involved have to be explained. Let's say agent A is in control of a resource (we will call this "in power") that agent B wants. If we want to understand this interaction, we need ...
The Experience Economy
Years ago, our century had just begun, progressive voices heralded the transition from a product economy to an experience economy. Instead of selling cars, car companies told us in their advertisements that they were selling a "driving experience". Of course, we realized, the experience is everything. We go to restaurants in order to have a ...
Collaborative Anti-Consumerism
The word "consumerism" seems to imply that the act of consuming is the essence of our being, something more profound than what existentialism or Freudianism were hinting at. I understand that pushing a shopping cart and loading it with things that we decide all by ourselves to pick from the shelves can occasionally give us ...
Pfffrt.
[series-miru] Pfffrt. Miru is now sixteen months, and she's adorable. I think I can't find the words for it, which is a wonderful irony because she is getting more expressive every day. I've been meaning to write this for a long time, and I have the feeling it might already be outdated because Miru is ...
Let’s call it a day
Suppose a respected scientific magazine would have written in October 1962 during the Cuba missile crisis, that a blow-up was inevitable, or even that the rockets were already in the air. Would the public just shrug it off and go about their business? But this is not the 1960s. In our "information" age, the intensity ...
Countdown from Peak Child
I watched an entertaining and instructive talk by Swedish professor Hans Rosling the other day, because YouTube recommended this video. Mr. Rosling introduced himself as a dry statistics professor but did everything humanly possible to maximize the probability of laughter he induced among his mixed audience. Watch the first few minutes of his presentation and ...
Loss
I've been dreaming about loss, why? Loss of material objects that were in my possession a decade ago (such as computer disks or books), or still having to finish some exams to earn my college degree or even my high school diploma (a recurring dream I have that I'd love to look up in the ...